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Local pantry part of pilot program to feed seniors

Last year, the National Foundation to End Senior Hunger released its annual report on the State of Senior Hunger in America. The report demonstrated that the threat of hunger among seniors continues to be a grave crisis facing the nation.

In the report, Arkansas stood at the top of the list with 24.2 percent of its seniors facing food insecurity. Immediately, the Arkansas Foodbank and its Program Services team created a senior hunger task force comprised of agencies that have experience working with seniors.

“After weeks of planning, together we came up with a new pilot program aimed at getting more nutritious foods to our seniors across the state,” said Britney Sink, Senior Services and SNAP Outreach Coordinator at the Foodbank. The pilot program that began this week selected 15 senior service pilot sites located across 13 counties. Among those sites is the Choctaw Food Bank.

The Arkansas Foodbank plans to provide approximately 1,500 seniors with senior-specific food items each month during the pilot. Senior-friendly foods have been sourced in prepackaged boxes that consist of single serve heat-and-eat meals, along with breakfast items, shelf-stable milk, and juice.

Instead of choosing set strategies to have the pilot sites implement, the 15 agencies can sign up for which strategies they feel fit the needs of their community, allowing the Foodbank to test various combinations of strategies at once.

For more information about the senior program call Karen or Claud Ruiz at 253-7987.

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